One of Two Wounded Officers Home for Christmas
The AP via YellowBrix
December 25, 2009
SEATTLE — Shortly after being released from a hospital on Christmas Eve, one of the two Pierce County sheriff’s officers shot in an ambush by a drunken man visited his partner, who is fighting for his life in a Seattle medical center.
A motorcade of police escorts accompanied Sgt. Nick Hausner as he left Madigan Army Medical Center near Tacoma on Thursday morning and visited Deputy Kent Mundell, who suffered life-threatening injuries and is hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to police and hospital officials.
Monday’s shooting marked the third time in less than eight weeks that police officers in Washington state have been shot in the line of duty.
Four Lakewood officers were shot to death in a coffee shop as they did paperwork before their shift in late November. After a two-day manhunt, suspect Maurice Clemmons was shot dead by a Seattle police officer.
A month earlier, on Halloween night, Seattle Officer Timothy Brenton was killed as he sat in his patrol car. Christopher Monfort, 41, has been charged with aggravated first-degree murder.
TV news footage showed police and hospital workers using sheets to block the view of Hausner’s arrival at the hospital. Later, he was shown walking into his home, with a bandage on his neck.
Pierce County sheriff’s office spokesman Ed Troyer said Hausner would not address the media on Thursday, but may do so in the future.
Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg-Hanson said Mundell remains in critical condition in intensive care. She said his family has been by his side.
Officers from around the region have also provided support at the hospital, keeping a vigil.
Washington State Policing
David E. Crable, 35, shot the two officers Monday night before he was killed in the subsequent shoot-out, police said. Crable had a history of domestic violence and “terrorizing” his family, Troyer added. The officers had gone to the home of Crable’s brother near Eatonville, after family members called to have an intoxicated Crable removed.
“He knew the officers were coming; he intentionally hid, he waited for them to get inside, then he opened fire – at least 10 rounds – on both of them,” Troyer said earlier this week.
Many of the deputies who rushed to the rural cabin in the Cascade foothills about 50 miles south of Seattle, had investigated the fatal Lakewood police shootings.
Crable’s daughter was staying at the home. Troyer said Thursday the investigation has revealed the 16-year-old may have saved Hausner’s life.
Troyer told The Seattle Times that the girl saw her father shoot Mundell several times, then shoot Hausner. At some point, she jumped on Crable and dragged him to the ground, keeping him from shooting the officer again, Troyer said.
Authorities say the girl tried to aid the officers, then ran to a neighbor’s house to call for help.
The sheriff’s office, Nordstrom and Toys For Tots are giving the girl Christmas gifts, Troyer said.
“She’s absolutely a hero, but she’s a victim, too,” he said.